Home to the world’s largest macaw lick
If you have the time, this is the best way to explore the Amazon. This five day tour takes you further downriver to the world famous Tambopata Research Centre. Leaving the populated areas behind, you soon start to see more and more wildlife. The reserve is home to an incredible variety of species. If you are really lucky you may even see jaguar.
Upon arrival, you will be met at Puerto Maldonado airport and driven ten minutes to the lodge’s Puerto Maldonado headquarters. While enjoying your first taste of the forest in our gardens you will need to pack only the necessary gear for your next few days and leave the rest at the office safe deposit. This helps keep the boats and cargo light.
Your guides are biologists, tourism professionals, or community members. Unless noted otherwise, your guides speak English and are assigned at a 6:1 ratio in Tambopata Research Center. This means groups smaller than 6 people will be merged with other groups under one guide. If you would like a private guide or a guide in a language other than English please let us know.
The two and a half hour boat ride from the Tambopata Port to Refugio Amazonas will take you past the Community of Infierno, the Tambopata National Reserve´s checkpoint and into the buffer zone of this 1.3 million hectare conservation unit. En route you will enjoy a box lunch.
Upon arrival, the lodge manager will welcome you and brief you with important navigation and security tips.
Tonight you can enjoy an optional trip to spot caiman, which entails travelling to the river’s edge at night and scanning the shores with headlamps and flashlights to catch the red gleams of reflection from caiman eyes. You stay overnight in Refugio Amazonas.
Included: English-speaking guide, entrance fees, transport, room, lunch, dinner, snacks and water
Very early in the morning you set off for a thirty minute walk from Refugio Amazonas to the twenty five metre scaffolding canopy tower. A banister staircase running through the middle provides safe access to the platforms above. The tower has been built upon high ground, therefore increasing your view of the continuous primary forest extending out towards the Tambopata National Reserve. From here you can enjoy likely views of mixed species canopy flocks as well as toucans, macaws and raptors. On return to the lodge you will have breakfast.
After breakfast you hike a few minutes from the lodge to a beautiful patch of Brazil Nut forest that has been harvested for decades (if not centuries). Here you can explore the precarious remains of a camp used two months a year by Brazil Nut gatherers. This is a unique opportunity to understand the harvesting process of the rain forest’s only sustainable product, from collection through to transportation and drying.
You then return to the river for the four and half hour boat journey into the pristine heart of the reserve, and so to your base at the Tambopata Research Center. One and half hours into the boat journey, you cross the confluence with the Malinowski River and leave the final traces of human habitation behind. Within the 700,000 hectare uninhabited nucleus of the reserve, sightings of capybara, caiman, geese, macaws and other large species will become more frequent. En route you will enjoy a boxed lunch.
Upon arrival, the lodge manager will welcome you and brief you with important navigation and security tips. In the afternoon, a three to five kilometre hike will lead you to a viewpoint with commanding views of the Tambopata winding its way into the lowlands.
The forest on this trail, regenerated from old bamboo forest, is good for sightings of howler monkeys and dusky titi monkeys. After dinner, scientists will provide an in depth look at the biology of macaws, their feeding habits, the theories for clay lick use, their breeding and feeding ecology, population fluctuations and the threats to their conservation.
Included: English-speaking guide, entrance fees, transport, room, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks & water
On most clear mornings of the year, dozens of large macaws and hundreds of parrots congregate on this large river bank in a raucous and colourful spectacle which inspired a National Geographic cover story. Discreetly located fifty meters from the cliff, we will observe green-winged, scarlet and blue-and-gold macaws and several species of smaller parrots that descend to ingest clay. Outings are at dawn when the lick is most active. You return to the lodge for breakfast.
In the morning you can enjoy the Floodplain Trail: this five kilometre trail covers the prototypical rain forest with immense trees criss-crossed by creeks and ponds. Amongst the figs, ceibas and shihuahuacos we will look for squirrel, brown capuchin, and spider monkeys, as well as peccaries. TRC is located within this habitat.
You return for lunch and in the afternoon can head to the Pond Platform – ten minutes upriver from the lodge is a tiny pond with a platform in the middle. It is a great place to spot waterfowl such as Muscovy duck, sunbittern and hoatzin along with the woodpeckers, oropendolas, flycatchers and parakeets that call this pond their home.
After dinner you can enjoy a night walk, when most of the mammals are active but rarely seen. Much easier to find are frogs with shapes and sounds as bizarre as their natural histories.
Included: English-speaking guide, transport, room, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks & water.
Weather permitting you can return to the Macaw Clay lick for another fascinating view. After breakfast you head to the Terra Firme Trail, an entirely different habitat characterized by smaller, thinner trees atop hills and slopes is covered by this five kilometer trail. Saddleback tamarins are frequently found here. As you walk near the limits of the swamp you should keep an eye out for rare tapir tracks.
After lunch you visit the Palm Swamp Trail. Growing on the remains of an oxbow lake and providing both arboreal as well as terrestrial mammals with fruits throughout the year, the aguaje palms are one of the most important food sources in the rainforest. Demand for these fruits and great conditions for planting rice, makes the palm swamp also one of the most threatened habitats.
Included: English-speaking guide, transport, room, breakfast, lunch, dinner,
Avenida Collasuyo 910, Miravalle, Cusco
9am - 4pm local time (GMT-5)